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After you and your buyer come to terms, you will need to agree to a closing date. Generally your attorneys or closing agents help with the date selection. If there are any issues, such as you will be out of town, or otherwise unavailable, you will want to bring that up early as possible. Potentially, you may not even need to attend the proceedings.

The property officially changes hands during a closing and it is the “end” event at your sale. However, preparing for it should begin way before the closing date. Last minute surprises during a closing are unpleasant and challenging


Here are a few things you can do to make sure it goes as smoothly as possible.

Get Your Team in Place

  • Make sure your agent knows that your expectations are that they will organize and facilitate closing-related activities. This is why picking the right agent is so important. Their knowledge of the process, understanding the paperwork and their experience of “what can go wrong” cannot be underestimated.

  • Other than your agent, line up other members of your team. Speak with your banker, your accountant, and attorney to give them a head’s up that you are selling your home.

  • Have your realtor on call for any questions you might have when reviewing the HUD 1 Settlement paperwork you receive immediately before closing.

Organize Your Home 

  • Talk to your realtor about the possibility of conducting your own home inspection early on. It will surface any important issues that you can fix and resolve. Then, they won’t come up during the buying process or surprise you the buyer’s inspection.

  • Prepare for the buyer’s inspection. Make certain all light switches, bulbs, and outlets etc. working. Keeping things tidy and cared for sends the right message to inspectors.

  • Have your home cleaned before the final walk-through.

  • Gather any warranties, manuals, or instructions for systems, appliances etc. for the buyer’s reference

  • Collect and label all keys and remotes and leave them in a central place along with the home alarm password and instructions

  • Cancel utilities

  • Turn off any valves to help minimize the possibility of leaks and damage

And Finally...

  • Don’t forget to go to the Post Office to fill out change of address and mail forwarding information.​

  • Alert creditors, subscriptions, etc of your address change

  • When you lock the door for a final time, look back and think about your time there but more importantly, your new life ahead.

Closing Documents

Your real estate agent will certainly help you here but it is likely you will need these items for closing

  • Final closing instructions and statement of closing costs

  • Title report

  • Mortgage and loan information

  • HUD-1 Settlement Statement

  • Deed

  • Lien information or affidavits regarding liens

  • Bill of sale (for anything you leave behind

  • Property tax information

  • Homeowners’ insurance paperwork

  • Trust documents

  • Lead-based paint disclosure (if your house was built prior to 1978)

  • Homeowners’ association materials